That Gum You Like

And I’m Out. (T-minus 9 hours)

Posted in Pre-Departure by Dave on September 9, 2009
Done and Done.

Done and Done. (plz excuse the photobooth)

And that’s it guys. My bags are packed. I’m leaving today. Off to a world of convicts and thieves, where the toilets aren’t the only things that flush backwards and the trees grow gumdrops. See y’all around the billabong.

The Mountain Goats – Leaving Home

And this one is theme song of this trip so far, the song I’ve been screaming along to, tearing down whatever highway at three in the afternoon or four in the morning, the song that plays in the movie I’ve been making in my brain:

Smog – Hit the Ground Running

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T-minus 43 hours.

Posted in Pre-Departure by Dave on September 8, 2009

Oh man you guys. You guys! Oh, man. Man oh man oh man you guys! I am officially tweaking out a little about this. My life as I’ve known it is about to totally change (Hold on, I’m getting bludgeoned by the obvious cliche police). Doing this trip is way scarier than going to college. It’s funny, like, I’ve spent the past week finally nailing everything down, and for the most part, pretty much everything has fallen into place, which has only served to make it scarier, because it’s finally real! All these phone calls to Sydney and Brisbane to my lovely hosts, figuring out international calling and time differences, and public transport from Sydney to Brisbane, from Sydney to Gordon… Now that everything is finally figured out all I have left to do is freak myself out, download as much music I possibly can and pack all my shit into a few bags. And a big ol’ box for the books. Something like this, methinks:

Gonna be a bitch to fit in that overhead compartment.

Gonna be a bitch to fit in that overhead compartment.

But yeah, this is going to be scarily awesome. That’s the other nice thing about constantly freaking out about this. I did it all to myself, so it’s pretty well suited to my specifications. Which is in part, why is seems scarier than college. Starting college was both an obligation (an obligation I was happy to fulfill, but still), and a process of fitting myself into a mold created for me. This time, I made the mold. Which also means, I suppose, that if it sucks, it’s all my fault. Ah well. Way it goes…

And now it’s time for some cool stuff I found on the internet.

This animation is really really beautiful. Initially it reminded me of William Kentridge, at least the animations I saw of his at SFmoma over spring break. After watching it a few times, I guess it’s really not like his stuff at all, but I think they share sort of a fuzzy B&W aesthetic. Pretty pretty stuff.

I’m dumbfounded by this (left it on the site I found it on, because Cakehead loves evil is incredible.) I don’t understand studio lighting at all, and seeing somebody really go ambitious with it and succeed pretty well is really insane. I’m almost doubtful that those are untouched. Any photoshop pros able to tell if s/he cheated at all?


So Davye Hawk, the mastermind behind Weird Tapes/Memory Cassette/Memory Tapes (Seriously dude, I will pay you to freaking pick one) is one of my favorite discoveries of the year, and his most recent efforts, the Call and Response EP from Memory Cassette (which came out, sold out, and is now only digital) and Seek Magic, the Memory Tapes debut LP (which comes out sometime later this month [Buy It!]) are both super blissy and awesome. The Memory Cassette skews a little closer to the Weird Tapes than does the Memory Tapes–Seek Magic is super patient, frequently understated and cleaner than anything else Hawk has given us so far. It really is a distillation of all his work so far, taking his beautiful sample-based aesthetic into new territory, giving himself room to flex both his production and songcraft muscles. All very much worth a listen if you’re into ‘chillwave’ or ‘glo-fi’ or whatever the hell else people are calling this stuff.

Memory Cassette – Surfin’

Memory Tapes – Pink Stones (I chose this one because Bicycle and now Plain Material are both already all over the webs, and I think this one is sort of the secret jam)

Also, I’m really really obsessed with this song:

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Home and I’m kinda embarrassed about it, honestly. They’re asking me to swallow a lot of cute and a lot of ripped-off aesthetic. It’s so goddamn hard to be a band that makes happy music (c’mon, look at these assholes) and pull if off without dipping into cheesy, overtrodden, cliche, they’ve already got an uphill battle going with that one, and to have that backed up with the singers apeing the sort of guy girl back and forth used best by artists like Johnny and June Carter Cash is a real tough pill to get down on. But the song is secretly rock solid, if you can get over all the smarm. It’s got an airtight melody that they’re smart enough to lean on for most of the song and the personalities are actually sort of charming. If after the first verse you find yourself wanting to stab them in the face, at least wait out the whole song, they kinda ease off the lyrical grossness as it proceeds. Also, it’s surprisingly well produced, the way the guitar and whistling is treated gives the song a vaguely darker edge, helped out by the enormous, booming chorus. They’re apparently a twelve-piece band, which is ridiculous, but I certainly wouldn’t take anything out of the chorus, and seeing this live would probably break me into little joyous pieces. They’ve got a whole album out too, but I haven’t heard it yet. You can get it on iTunes, but it’s worth going through their website for the ludicrous background it has.

(It bears mentioning that I found the song from the excellent Aquarium Drunkard mix: Weird Summer, very highly recommended)

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T-minus three days. (Ho boy.)

Posted in Pre-Departure by Dave on September 6, 2009

So it’s Sunday the 6th, and I leave for the land down under (no Men at Work (The video is worth it, I promise)) Wednesday and get there on Friday. So as you might imagine, I’m starting consider the reality of having to pack. It’s proving surprisingly difficult. It’s not clothes, electronics or anything else that I’m worried about. I’ll survive on the bare minimum of clothing, and beyond my computer and camera there’s nothing else that I think I would really want. The issue here is the truckload of books that I want to bring. One thing that has really driven this trip is the opportunity to do my own education for a little while, knocking down a few of the classics and required reading that I’ve never gotten around to. Until now, I hadn’t really considered the fact that this means I have to take all these books with me, and that books are going to take more space than anything else I want. A lot more. I made a few stacks today of things I thought I might want…

This is ludicrous.

Oh dear god.

So now I’m at the point where I’m picturing myself showing up in Sydney with my backpack, my super 8 camera (aw yeah), and a shipping container full of books. Anybody know a good sherpa?


P.S. Two of the tunes that have been getting me through this packing panic: (Apparently wordpress needs me to pay to upload songs, so I’ll have to figure that one out soon. I’ll just hit you with the linx for now.)

The xx – Basic Space

Trailer Trash Tracys – Candy Girl